Book//mark – The Transmigration of Timothy Archer | Philip K. Dick, 1982

The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, 1982                                                                                    Philip K. Dick

“Barefoot conducts his seminars on his houseboat in Sausalito. It costs a hundred dollars to
find out why we are on this Earth. You also get a sandwich, but I wasn’t hungry that day.
John Lennon had just been killed and I think I know why we are on this Earth; it’s to find
out that what you love the most will be taken away from you, probably due to an error in
high places rather than by design.”

“The fixed idea of madness is fascinating, if you are inclined toward viewing with
interest something that is palpably impossible yet nonetheless exists.”

“So books are real to me, too; they link me not just with other minds but with the vision of
other minds, what those minds understand and see. I see their worlds as well as I see my own.”

“There is a line somewhere in Wozzeck that translates out to, roughly, ‘The world is awful.’
Yes, I said to myself as I shot across the Bay Bridge not giving a fuck how fast I drove, that
sums it up. That is high art: ‘The world is awful.’ That says it all. This is what we pay composers
and painters and the great writers to do: tell us this; from figuring this out, they earn a living.
What a masterful, incisive insight. What penetrating intelligence. A rat in a drain ditch could
tell you the same thing, were it able to talk. If rats could talk, I’d do anything they said.”

“Madness, like small fish, runs in hosts….”

“That is not how you do it; you do not solve one problem with another, greater problem.”

“Jesus Christ!” I said. “You can’t sleep with a bishop!” “I already have,” Kirsten said.”

“My point,” Tim said, “is that if the Logia predate Jesus by two hundred years, then the Gospels
are suspect, we have no evidence that Jesus was God, very God, God incarnate, and therefore
the basis of our religion is gone. Jesus simply becomes a teacher representing a particular Jewish
sect that ate and drank some kind of – well, whatever it was, the anokhi*, and it made them immortal.”

“Sometimes, I guess, an over-valent idea enters the mind as a problem, or imaginary problem.
This is not so rare. You are getting ready for bed, late at night, and all of a sudden the idea comes
into your mind that you did not shut off your car lights. You look out the window at your car-which
is parked in your driveway in plain sight-and you can see that it shows no lights. But then you think:
Maybe I left the lights on and they stayed on so long that they ran the battery down. So to be sure,
I must go out and check. You put on your robe and go out, unlock the car door, get in and pull
on the headlight switch. The lights come on. You turn them off, get out, lock up the car and
return to the house. What has happened is that you have gone crazy; you have become psychotic.
Because you have discounted the testimony of your senses; you could see out the window that
the car lights were not on, yet you went out to check anyhow. This is the cardinal factor: you
saw but you did not believe. Or, conversely, you did not see something but you believed it
anyhow. Theoretically, you could travel between your bedroom and the car forever, trapped
in an eternal closed loop of unlocking the car, trying the light switch, returning to the
house-in this regard you herewith are a machine. You are no longer human.”

“No single thing abides; and all things are fucked up.”

“Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not,
therefore, go along willingly with it.”

“The trouble with being educated is that it takes a long time; it uses up the better part of
your life and when you are finished what you know is that you would have benefited
more by going into banking.”

“It is like information theory; it is noise driving out signal. But it is noise posing as signal so
you do not even recognize it as noise. The intelligence agencies call it disinformation, something
the Soviet Bloc relies on heavily. If you can float enough disinformation into circulation you will
totally abolish everyone’s contact with reality, probably your own included.”

“I am the last living person who knew the Bishop Timothy Archer of the Diocese
of California, his mistress, his son my husband.”

“What I wanted was immediate, fixed, real, tangible…it had to do with my house and my job,
and it had to with banishing ideas finally from my mind, ideas about other ideas, an infinite
regress of them, spiraling off forever.”

“Simply recycles his own thoughts forever, enjoying them even though, like transmitted
information, they degenerate. They become, finally, noise. And the signal that is intellect
fades out.”

Philip K. Dick, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, 1982

 * ”Anokhi is a psychedelic mushroom out of which
the Zadokites made a broth and a bread.”
 Lord R.C., Pink Beam: A Philip K. Dick Companion,  2007

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